Ok, so this was about a week and a half ago, but my house has been filled with so much damn drama we might as well be filming a reality TV show these days.
More on that later…
This early race was really just to knock out the cobwebs, try the new bike out in a race day environment, and basically just go through the motions at least once before Galveston.
Fine and dandy except I had contracted the virus from hell.
It had been lingering for about 2 weeks and while I’d somehow managed to continue training (with drastic modifications) I was on the tail end of the exorcism and generally still felt like shit.
Swimming was the real challenge. The week prior, I was struggling to get 4 laps in without stopping mid-length to have a coughing fit. And it was a NASTY cough at that.
If I wasn’t coughing, it was coming out of my nose. Lovely visual I know, but this was a marked improvement over the congestion that left me with headaches so bad I started wondering if I was developing migraines or living in a state of chronic dehydration.
I’m finally recovered, but the morning of March 10; while it wasn’t the ugliest posting I’ve ever seen on the results board, certainly wasn’t the best either.
I DID learn a lot which was the primary purpose of the day…..and there were a few shining moments to keep me coming back for more as well!!
The week prior had been hot and humid, but naturally the night before we had torrential rain and a lovely cold front blew in from the north. So we awoke at 4am to 42 degrees and a nice northerly wind.
Perfect conditions for the mucus factory I was now in charge of managing 24/7.
As we were driving up towards the race site, we inspect the roads and check the route. The night before, while picking up our packets, the course directors gave us a “WARNING SHEET” detailing the many hazards on the bike course. ;(
Are you kidding me???????
The course WAS NOT going to be closed, there were several 90 degree turns which crossed oncoming traffic, gravel would make the itty bitty turn around a bit of a concern, and it wasn’t going to be marked very well….just so we all knew!
Mental note: Let’s not do THIS one again!
I’m the 1st one to admit I’m a wuss on the bike. I can travel faster uphill than down because I simply have no desire for free dermabrasion. I’ve had friends have some pretty bad accidents and seen the results. I’m 41 years old and while I like to win, I don’t need to win at any cost….anymore 🙂
My husband likes to say that I muscle my way through a course while others finesse their way through….
Maybe so…. but gravel, cars, and 3 point turns just seemed like a recipe for disaster.
But then that’s just me.
As soon as I LOOKED at that sheet, I knew my bike leg would suck. Only 1 place to go from bottom, right??? 😉
I things broke down that morning….
I felt like crap from the moment I hit the water. This was a time trial start and my husband took off 5 seconds before me and my natural instinct to keep up with him was a really bad one. He was out of the water before I made it to the half-way buoy. By that time I was coughing, choking up half the damn lake, and trying to clear my leaky goggles.
I tried my full wetsuit one more time…..NEVER EVER AGAIN….if you want it, let me know and it is yours.
My arms felt like I had 10 pound weights on them and to simply get them out of the water was too much of an effort. I was overheating (BAD BAD BAD), had that damn goggle leak, and at some point decided I really hated this part.
There was NOTHING marking the shore so I swam off too far to the left, but managed to correct it fairly easily and finally made it to shore. I swore I was in the water for an eternity.
My Garmin 910xt was not co-operating(IMAGINE!!!) in multi-sport mode so I was having to change sports as I entered transition and so I was pleased to see I was out of the water in under 10 mins, but was now so damn dizzy I could hardly stand.
I stumbled to my bike and actually had to sit down so I didn’t FALL DOWN.
I felt like I needed a sign on my rack saying, “This ain’t my 1st rodeo!” as folks keep telling me what the next step is.
“Just be pleasant, Just be pleasant” chimed in my head to the tune of Dory’s “just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo. No sense in going all Sybil on the poor volunteers just because it’s not my day, right??!!
I really blamed my germ for the shitty swim, but after the race was over and I looked at the numbers I realized I swam WAYYYYYYYY to fast. Not a little too fast either….this is VO2 max speed for me in the water and being sick I was to totally unable to judge how I felt.
I’m glad I can hold it for almost 1/2 mile and I’m significantly improved as swimmer over last year, but if you’d seen me in T1…..
Not a pretty sight at all!
- 650 YARDS
- 1:26/100 yrds
Uh lets see….
I was trying to regain some equilibrium while peeling off my wetsuit and then spent 90 secs blowing my nose and coughing the night workers from the mucus factory.
Then got on with that “Warning Sheet” ride from hell.
There is not much to say here. I tried to rationalize it with the fact I’d has no rest for 2 weeks prior to the day, or being sick, the crappy course…but really I think just wasn’t feeling it. Or I had my mind made up as soon as they handed me that “sheet” the night before that it wasn’t going to be good.
Maybe it was a combination of all those things and maybe it was my bike needing to be re-tweaked. Whatever it was, this was definitely the most miserable ride I’ve ever had.
It was really cold too, by my definition. And a bit windy. And of course, I was wet. Not fun at all.
- 11.8 miles
When I dismounted my bike, some great Edison size lightbulb went off above my head and I realized the timing pads were all the way over at the transition entrance. So while I’d been lolly-gagging from the swim-T1 and then the bike-T2, a whole lot more than transition time had been ticking away.
MENTAL NOTE: Always look for timing pads….never assume anything! Although normally I DO have a bit more sense of urgency about me than I did this day!
Ohhh my shining moment. Finally something goes right!!
For someone who hates to run, this felt oh-so good. It was effortless. I felt like I was floating and the entire time, I knew how it would probably be a long time before I felt THIS GOOD running at this pace again.
I wish I knew what I did. I felt awesome from the 1st step off the bike. Period. Maybe it’s the new TT position that has me ready to run, or that I didn’t go all out and ride like a bat outta hell. All I know for sure is that I came across that finish line in total disbelief…..
Not only at my run time, but at just how great I felt. I could have kept going for another 3mi easily.
Hope for the future…or so I thought at the time….
- 3 miles
- 7:57 min/mi pace
10th overall women
2nd in 40-44 AG
It ended on a good note and I worked out some of the issues, but as life would have it, another monkey wrench has been thrown into the plan.
About 3 days after the race I developed a stabbing pain in the lateral part of my right knee. All attempts to run have been unsuccessful thus far.
For now it’s a whole lot of swimming and cycling.
I know many of you are gearing up for your 1st event of the year.
Best of luck to each and every one of you!!
Swim Happy, My Friends!